U.S. scientist pleads guilty to taking
government laptop to China
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[August 26, 2014]
By Joseph Kolb
ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - A former
scientist at a U.S. government-owned nuclear weapons research facility
in New Mexico pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to illegally
taking a lab-owned computer to China and lying about it, a U.S.
Jianyu Huang, 46, a naturalized U.S. citizen from China who lives
in Albuquerque, pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of a
government-owned computer and computer-related media, the U.S.
Attorney for New Mexico said in a statement.
The scientist was fired in April 2012 from Sandia National
Laboratories, a government-owned research facility operated by
Sandia Corporation that is responsible in part for ensuring the
safety of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile.
Huang also pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a
counterintelligence officer in June 2011, the U.S. Attorney said.
Under the terms of a plea deal, announced on Monday, Huang will be
sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison followed by a
term of supervised release, the length of which has yet to be
determined by the court, the statement said.
Huang's sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.
He was arrested in June 2012 on a six-count indictment that included
charges he misused federal government resources and equipment to
conduct research for Chinese research institutions.
Huang was also charged with falsely stating that he did not intend
to take U.S. government equipment with him on a trip to China, the
He worked in an unclassified capacity but was required to report
substantive relationships with foreign nationals, including
associations that involve meeting and sharing work-related
information. He was also barred from taking government-owned
equipment on foreign travel without prior approval.
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Sandia National Laboratories' roots lie in the World War Two
Manhattan Project, which built the first atomic bombs.
It says on its website that while it "originated as a single-mission
engineering organization for nonnuclear components of nuclear
weapons, today it is a multiprogram laboratory engaging in research
supporting a broad spectrum national security issues."
(Reporting by Joseph Kolb in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Writing by
Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Robert Birsel)
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